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Люди и общество.doc
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Reading practice

T E X T 1

Pre-reading Activity

Before you read the text about freedom try to define this notion.

1.What is freedom?

2.To be free- what does it mean for you?

3.What associations do you have when reading the phrase “a free society”?

Reading Activity

(!) Read the text and

  1. state its topic and main idea;

  2. name the key-words of the text.

Kinds of freedom

Freedom is the ability to make choices and carry them out. The words freedom and liberty mean much the same thing. For people to have complete freedom, there must be no restrictions on how they think, speak or act. They must be aware of what their choices are, and they must have the power to decide among those choices. They must also have the means and opportunity to think, speak and act without being controlled by anyone else. However, no organized society can actually provide all these conditions at all times.

From a legal point of view, people are free if society imposes no unjust, unnecessary or unreasonable limits on them. Society must also protect their rights - that is, their basic liberties and privileges. A free society tries to distribute the conditions of freedom equally among the people.

Most legal freedoms can be divided into three main groups: (1) political freedom, (2) social freedom and (3) economic freedom.

Political freedom includes the right to vote, to choose between rival candidates for public office, and to run for office oneself. It includes the right to criticize government policies, which is part of free speech. People who are politically free can form and join political parties and organizations. This right is part of the freedom of assembly.

In the past, many people considered political freedom the most important freedom. They believed that men and women who were politically free could vote all other freedoms for themselves. But most people now realize that political liberty means little unless economic and social freedom support it. For example, the right to vote does not have much value if people lack the information to vote in their own best interests.

Social freedom

Freedom of speech is the right of people to say what they believe. Political liberty depends on this right. People need to hold free discussions and to exchange ideas so they can make an informed decision on political issues.

Freedom of the press is the right to publish facts, ideas and opinions without interference. This right extends to radio, television and films as well as to printed material. It may be considered a special type of freedom of speech.

Freedom of religion means the right to believe in and practice the faith of one’s choice. It also includes the right to have no religion at all.

Freedom of assembly is the right to meet together and to form groups with others of similar interests. It also means that people may associate with anyone they wish. On the other hand, no one may be forced to join an association against one’s will.

Academic freedom is the group of freedoms claimed* by teachers and students. It includes the right to teach, discuss, research, write and publish without interference. It promotes* the exchange of ideas and the spread of knowledge.

Due process of law* is a group of legal requirements that must be met before a person accused of crime is punished. It includes people’s right to know the charges against them. The law also guarantees the right to obtain a legal order called a writ* of habeas corpus, which orders the police to free a prisoner if no legal charge can be made against them. It protects people from being imprisoned unjustly.

Economic freedom enables people to make their own economic decisions. This freedom includes the right to own property, to use it and to profit from it. Workers are free to choose and change jobs. People have the freedom to save money and to invest it as they wish. Such freedoms form the basis of the economic system called capitalism


Claimed (here):believed to be their right

promotes: helps to improve

due process of law: the correct procedure to be fallowed in law

writ:document from a court, ordering smb. to do smth

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